India Specific Fodder Challenges

While India is one of the largest producers of milk globally, its yield per animal is significantly lower. The average milk yield of Indian cattle is around 1,200 kilograms per lactation, compared to the global average of over 2,500 kilograms.

The calving interval for cattle in India often exceeds the optimal 12-14 months, leading to fewer calves over the lifetime of a cow.

Calves in India face high mortality rates, estimated between 20-30% for buffaloes, due to diseases and poor management, while the global benchmark is below 10%.

The major reason perceived is deficiency of feed and fodder followed by health, breeding / reproduction and management.

Around 80% of the livestock are with marginal, small and medium holdings farmers under rainfed situation, whereas, small ruminants are mostly reared under nomadic (30%) and sedentary (70%)systems.

Fodder / feed issues needs to be addressed, because the feed alone constitutes 60 to 70% of the milk production cost. Thus, any attempt towards enhancing livestock productivity should consider the feed availability and its nutritional value.

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